My first class at the new little studio I opened in the heart of Ruidoso.. turned out to be a time of emotion. Not only for me but students too. I was thrilled to be on my own and free to express my own calling helping others with yoga. But I also struggled with feelings of anxiety going "on my own" with no one's help with the final touches. It felt lonely. I had concern that my students may not be satisfied with the new place... and a sense of loss of leaving the studio and friends where I had taught for almost 2 years.
But they came, old students and new - and we brought our lives and our pains to the mat. I had my anxiety, another had an ailing father, another a body broken by burns, a woman with a young son leaving home, a man who's wife had died far too young. Each of us came with some part of our hearts heavy and together we joined to lay our burdens in the most gentle way, down. Meditation will do that. It brings out the unspoken and helps us ask "what is real?" On the mat together we each heard our hearts.
The room blossomed and instead of yoga asanas and practicing, I saw before me beings with life hardships ... all who came to share moments of peace. My friend valiantly brought herself even though she had more important work and family pressures looming, my dear student struggled with her father's decline and need for his approval.... As we focused on our breaths and turned our attention inward, some of the fear melted and that sense of solid emotions and views on events...began to soften. And so it went for us... after a few minutes, a late-comer burst into the room. Another opportunity "to return our attention from distraction to the movement of breath in our bodies". The late-comers was the son of my friend about to depart the family the next morning for his "visionquest" to become a man. He'd made a special effort to come - even for a short time, to say goodbye to his yoga teacher.
We practiced fun asanas, challenging postures and we all enjoyed effort combined with a sense of ease. The boy had to leave early and murmured some sweet words... words of care and affection clumsily spoken. I touched his heart and whispered farewell. His mother didn't seem to watch as she lay in child's pose.. but as I moved to her to give a light back touch she said softly, "I'm crying".
There times that crying is good. Times when real feelings are unabashedly at the surface and we need the cleansing of tears to wash our heart. I felt honored that the mats I had lovingly selected and laid out for my students - was a safe place, a place safe for tears.
What better yoga than to share one's life with others who feel safe to be themselves with you. Namaste